As anyone who has traveled knows, as you approach the end of your trip, the days seem to fly. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it. We really have been out and about in this wonderful city and in this beautiful weather.
Friday started with us going to the Ducal Palace in Campo San Marco. We had gone in 2008 (actually twice that visit) but had never been back. Luckily the crowds weren’t too bad and by lingering in some of the rooms, we could actually lose the ship tours. Venice was ruled by a doge and his council and in this palace he both lived and ruled. He was doge for life and could only rarely leave the palace other than for official functions. The Doge was elected by the Great Council consisting of about a thousand of the Venetian nobility. Much of the governing was done by the council. Here are just a few of the pictures we took.
Leaving the Doge’s Palace, we made a beeline for the vaporetto for San Giorgio (a tiny island directly across from San Marco). We had told Christy we would meet her at 1 and it was ten to one. What do you know, she was waiting for the same vaporetto! There were several exhibits we wanted to see on San Giorgio, but first we had to stop to take this picture looking back at Venice.
First we went to an exhibit called “A Menagerie of Wonders.” It was a large Roman floor mosaic found near Lod, Israel when a road was being built. It is in great shape and quite beautiful. This exhibit is its only stop in Italy. Here is one detail from it.
Then we went into an exhibit of handblown glass by Fulvio Bianconi who worked at the Venini glass factory. There was also a movie about the artist, who started out acting in the Commedia and drawing in the streets during and after WWII. It was only later in life that he got involved in advertising and from there into glasswork. A very interesting man.
Next we went to an outdoor exhibit called “Glass Tea House Mondrian” by Hiroshi Sugimoto.
Finally we went into the Chiesa San Giorgio which always has a Biennale exhibit in it. It is usually between outlandish and ridiculous and this one was on the outlandish side of the equation. Both of these are by Jaume Plensa and the only titles we found were “Sculpture.”
We finally left San Giorgio. For a little, tiny island there certainly was a lot to see. The three of us got off at the Ca’ Rezzonico vaporetto stop and had to share a drink before the afternoon was finished. We then went on our way back to our apartment while Christy went back to hers and to her husband Paul.
That evening Alan and I once again went to Quatro Feri where we were recognized and treated like old friends. We shared a table with two Dutch women, one of whom lives in Rome. They were old friends and had met here in Venice to go to the Biennale. Here is the only food picture we got but we started with Misti di Pesce (mixed fish), then shared the spaghetti con seppia in nero (cuttlefish cooked in its own ink). We were full enough that we only opted for an after dinner drink, grappa for Alan and amaretto for me.
Yesterday was one of those stay at home days. Alan went to the barge and got some veggies and I spent the day reading the new Michael Connelly novel. Alan cooked porkchops using a different recipe from Marcella Hazan, this one with porcinis, button mushrooms, tomatoes, cream and wine. We were both sure he took a picture but it never showed up. Today we were just getting started when Christy instant messaged that there was San Martino celebration going on for kids at the Rialto Fish Market. We took the vaporetto over and every child in the entire Veneto region must have been there!
After wandering around the neighborhood a bit, we went with Christy to their apartment and visited with Paul for awhile. Then Christy, Alan and I went to Al Garanghelo which is just down the street from their apartment. Yes, this is the third time this visit we have been there but Alan had been dreaming of the fish soup and had talked Christy into craving some too. Again we were recognized and treated like friends. After lunch and sharing a liter of wine, we wandered home with a quick stop first at the supermarket for eggs. Alan felt the need for a nap and didn’t wake up till almost 6.
Tonight we had eggs and leftover vegetables! That is one of the big advantages of an apartment; you can eat out just once a day!
One more picture, the mandatory reflection picture. The outstanding sunny days have made for the best reflections we have ever seen here.